Luxury trip winners' secret to auction success

Aucklander couple Garrick Wynne and Sarah Thomas-Wynne

Garrick Wynne and his wife Sarah have an auction-winning formula: don't take it seriously and expect to lose.

The Grey Lynn, Auckland, couple's bid won the Trade Me auction of a NBR European luxury holiday, raising more than $37,000 for Starship Children's Hospital.

The prize was initially won by Financial Markets Authority chairman Simon Allen in a National Business Review subscriber draw in June and was donated by Mr Allen to Starship's Spring Clean auction.

"We really weren't serious about bidding on it," Mr Wynne, a director of private finance company Fifo Capital New Zealand, told NBR ONLINE.

The couple had a quick mobile phone discussion about strategy last Sunday, while Mr Wynne was kayaking around Waiheke Island with a friend. 

Half an hour later he received a text message from his freelance TV floor manager wife saying their $37,101 bid was successful and just a few hundred dollars short of their upper limit.

It is reminiscent of the way they bought their Grey Lynn house 18 months ago – by placing a "low" telephone bid only after discovering the house was up for auction the night before.

Mr Wynne says three of his close family members have been sick in the last five years and he always thought Starship was an amazing organisation.

"How tough it must be on those kids and families. Just having spent a lot of time visiting and being involved with sick adults – that's hard enough."

Mr Wynne says they are excited about taking the 28-day holiday, worth $50,000, and are grateful to NBR, Air New Zealand and Small Luxury Hotels of the World for the opportunity.

He says Mr Allen is a "magnificent guy".

"Thank you so much for passing on your prize to Starship. It speaks for itself – what an amazing thing to do."


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